Netflix just gave us a few crumbs of The Gray Man, its Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans-led action movie coming out this year. And while it's always had a big spot on our list of the biggest Netflix titles of 2022 (and a shot at our list of the best Netflix movies), we'd be lying if we said this little taste of the upcoming blockbuster doesn't leave us wanting more.
The Gray Man, if you forgot, appears to be Netflix's next big play to have its own blockbuster franchise. And if Captain America Chris Evans co-starring in the film wasn't enough reason to convince you that Netflix has a shot? Well, we've got two more big details to explain why this movie is going to be so big.
But, first skip to about 12 seconds into this super-cut of Netflix's 2022 movies lineup (opens in new tab), where we got our first look at Gosling's version of Court Gentry. Just the mood of this bruised and weary freelance assassin leaning out a moving train makes us think "he needs a day off." Then, at 45 seconds in, we get a lot more action, with Gosling engaged in hand to hand combat on top of a train.
After that, Gosling is on the phone with a nearly unrecognizable Chris Evans, saying "I already don't like you." But we already like this movie.
Netflix is investing a budget of up to $200 million into The Gray Man, as reported by Deadline (opens in new tab). The goal, as is obvious from that bill, is to build Netflix's own super-franchise.
Amazon now owns James Bond (though Netflix is showing off Daniel Craig in the Knives Out 2 first look in this same video); Disney has all of the upcoming Marvel movies and shows it can throw at us (what's next, The Happy Hogan Show?); and HBO Max has DC movies and will get The Batman eventually.
Meanwhile, Netflix's Stranger Things kids aren't getting any younger. So, it makes sense that Netflix is joining the blockbuster movie arms race.
The other reason that The Gray Man should be huge? It's coming from The Russo Brothers, Joe and Anthony. You know, the money-printing duo behind such films as Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War and the two-parter Avengers movies Infinity War and Endgame.
As for what happens in The Gray Man? Gentry (Gosling) used to work for the CIA, and he's now a freelance assassin who's wound up in the crosshairs of his old CIA colleague Lloyd Hansen (Evans).
Other huge Netflix 2022 movies include The Adam Project (a family-friendly adventure that reunites Ryan Reynolds alongside Zoe Saldaña, Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner) and Day Shift, which gives Jamie Foxx an extremely unlikely pair of jobs: pool cleaning and vampire-hunting.
Ruffalo and Evans aren't the only current/former Avengers in Netflix's schedule. 2022 also brings Thor back to Netflix. No, Chris Hemsworth's Extraction 2 doesn't have a date yet. Instead, Hemsworth is starring in a techy thriller called Spiderhead.
Will this all be enough for people to keep their accounts with the big red streaming machine while Netflix price increases push them away? Or will people cancel their Netflix intermittently and return once release dates for these movies come out? Only time will tell.